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Week 11 Game Recap: Indianapolis Colts 24, New England Patriots 59

Indianapolis Colts

QB Andrew Luck, Pass: 27 - 50 - 334 - 2 TD / 3 INT, Rush: 1 - 4 - 0

Andrew Luck had an inconsistent day that will be made to look much worse by his stat sheet. Now, Luck was far from impressive on the day, but he did make some outstanding throws and some of his struggles were to do with his teammates. Luck's first big pass of the day fell incomplete, but was a perfect deep pass that drew the pass interference and moved the offense 50 yards down the field. He then should have been intercepted when he missed Dwayne Allen deep down the field late in his progression. The ball came too late on a crossing route and bounced off of Devin McCourty's hands. Luck was making outstanding throws early on, with two against Talib in perfect coverage standing out. He first hit Lavon Brazil down the right sideline on a back-shoulder throw, before then throwing a strike to TY Hilton at the back of the endzone on a post route for a touchdown. The velocity and accuracy on Luck's throws were outstanding. After two touchdown drives when Luck appeared to be locked in, he stuttered somewhat with three straight incompletions. One was a result of poor accuracy, another a bad read and the last was tipped at the line of scrimmage. It was that drive that ultimately started the slide down the slippery slope. Luck had shown warning signs of poor accuracy over the middle earlier in the game, but it was still a shock to see him miss so severely when Aqib Talib intercepted him. Luck forced a throw under pressure to Reggie Wayne, who was surrounded by four players. Those players turned into a cavalry who escorted Talib to the endzone. Another interception should have come in the third quarter when he hung in the pocket, before throwing a pass straight to Steve Gregory over the middle. Gregory couldn't hold onto it. Luck responded well with two excellent throws, but the drive ultimately stalled at midfield. Pressure showed up again on the Colts' next drive when the youngster didn't step far enough into the pocket and allowed Rob Ninkovich to strip the ball from him. Protection could have been better, but Luck also needed to feel the pressure and glide away from it, or at least protect the football. Turnovers were raining down on the quarterback as Alfonzo Dennard had the second pick six in the game. It was either a miscommunication or a throw that Luck simply never grasped properly, but the ball went straight to Dennard. Dennard was covering Reggie Wayne who ran an intermediate out route. Luck rebounded with a deep thrown to TY Hilton for a touchdown, but another Patriots score sent them to garbage time. Garbage time that resulted in a tipped pass for an interception when he was trying to force a throw to Reggie Wayne.

RB Vick Ballard, Rush: 16 - 72 - 0, Rec: 1 - 7 - 0 (1 targets)

Having not been given the football on the first three plays of the game, Ballard ran through a huge hole for a 20 yard gain with his first carry. The Colts went straight back to the same play, but the Patriots crashed the line of scrimmage. Balard almost scored the opening touchdown of the game when he hit the line before bouncing outside, but his knee touched down just as he was falling into the endzone. Ballard lost his touchdown on the following play to Delone Carter. Ballard's next carry came on the team's second drive when he made two defenders miss and moved forward for a nine yard gain. Ballard pushed forward again for three yards in a short-yardage situation. The Patriots took a more aggressive approach to Ballard's next two carries, but the Colts then used that aggression against them with a draw play that sent him down the left sideline for a first down. Ballard was proving to be a shifty runner as he repeatedly made defenders miss and found holes in the defense. Ballard was bottled up on the few carries he had in the second half, until he burst through the middle for a 20 yard gain.

RB Donald Brown, Rush: 4 - 17 - 0, Rec: 2 - 6 - 0 (2 targets)

Brown showed good patience and burst with his first carry that went for nine yards. Brown was next involved at the beginning of the Colts' two minute drill before the half. He lined up as a wide receiver and ran a shallow crossing route, but Luck threw the ball behind him and they couldn't connect. Luck went straight back to Brown two plays later when he was lined up as a receiver to the other side of the field. Brown caught the ball and carried it forward for eight yards unopposed. Another reception on the same drive came when Brown worked back to his quarterback behind the line of scrimmage late in the play. He was tackled behind the line of scrimmage however. Brown's first carry of the third quarter came on the Colts' second drive when he skipped through a hole at the line of scrimmage for a six yard gain. The Colts went straight back to him and he was tackled behind the line of scrimmage however. Brown took a delayed handoff to the edge for a first down and five yards when he broke multiple tackles.

RB Delone Carter, Rush: 2 - 21 - 1

Carter's only relevant carry went for a touchdown when he beat a defender in the hole at the goalline on a short-yardage carry. He had one more carry at the very end of the game that went for 20 yards as the two teams were just waiting for the final whistle.

WR Reggie Wayne, Rec: 7 - 72 - 0 (18 targets)

Wayne's first reception was a well executed quick screen in the flat that went for seven yards. A second reception came on second and 13 when he caught a curl route for 11 yards over the middle. Luck went straight back to Wayne for the first down on a six yard curl to the outside. Wayne dropped a pass under pressure over the middle that would have went for a first down in hurry up mode. Luck went straight back to Wayne as he caught a four yard pass on a shallow crossing route. Wayne made an outstanding catch over the middle in between two defenders for 20 yards. Wayne converted a third and 13 with a 14 yard reception against two defenders. Wayne dropped a pass late in the game when he was protecting himself from a big hit. The game was over as a contest, so it was a good business decision. He made up for it immediately after with a reception over the middle for a first down.

WR T.Y. Hilton, Rec: 6 - 100 - 2 (9 targets)

Hilton had his first reception on a screen pass and carried it forward well for 13 yards. Hilton's second reception went for a touchdown, but more importantly he ran a route from the other side of the field. Hilton isn't just a one trick pony, he used his speed and agility to run a good post route to free himself from Talib to make a sliding reception. Hilton kept working in his route when Luck had defenders dragging off of him in the pocket, the result was a 16 yard gain on third and 12. Hilton caught a quick pass in the flat against off coverage, but the Patriots linebackers read the throw so he was limited to a three yard gain. Hilton's speed was forcing the Patriots to play off coverage, and Hilton took advantage for a first down on a 12 yard curl route. Hilton beat Talib deep down the right sideline for a big touchdown reception, even though Talib was penalized on the play for pass interference.

WR Donnie Avery, Rec: 3 - 34 - 0 (4 targets)

Avery didn't have a reception on the first drive, but he made the biggest play by beating Kyle Arrington deep and drawing a pass interference call at the goalline. Avery's first reception came soon after when Luck hit him on a quick in route for five yards. His second reception was a screen pass caught in the flat that was well blocked. Avery went for nine yards before being tackled. In the Colts' two minute drill before the half, Avery made an excellent reception in traffic after running a post route deep. He caught the ball between two defenders and absorbed a hit to his back as the ball landed in his chest. Avery had a big impact in the first half, but suffered a concussion and didn't come out for the second half.

WR LaVon Brazill, Rec: 2 - 46 - 0 (4 targets)

Brazill made an excellent 25-yard reception against Aqib Talib down the right sideline. Talib was in good position, but Brazil adjusted to the ball to high point a perfectly thrown pass. On third and five, Brazill caught a pass over the middle that should have been stopped short of a first down. Brazill used his speed however to accelerate away from defenders and gain the sideline for a big gain of 21 yards. Brazill appeared to have an opportunity for a big touchdown reception in the fourth quarter, but he couldn't extend to make the reception on a well thrown pass from his quarterback.

TE Dwayne Allen, Rec: 6 - 69 - 0 (11 targets)

Allen's first reception came off of play-action when Luck checked down to him late in his progression. Luck overthrew Allen when he was wide open in the flat. Allen almost caused an interception when he dropped a pass over the middle. He came free running a crossing route, but couldn't make a tough reception with his hands and tipped the ball in the air instead. Allen caught a 16 yard pass wide open in the middle of the field for a first down during the team's two minute drill. Allen caught a crossing route for a gain of 19 on a play-action pass. Fleener caught another open pass in the flat underneath for eight yards. Allen was working the underneath, as he caught another pass in the flat before turning upfield and splitting two defenders for a first down. Allen dropped a pass on the Colts' final drive as well as adding a reception over the middle for a first down.

New England Patriots

QB Tom Brady, Pass: 24 - 35 - 331 - 3 TD / 0 INT

Brady had a typical Tom Brady game. Throughout his career, Brady has had plenty of easy games but this may have been the easiest of all. The Colts' secondary couldn't stick with the Patriots receivers at all, while the pass rush rarely got any pressure on him in the pocket. Big returns from Julian Edelman on special teams and scoring turnovers from the defense meant that Brady never left first gear. Even when throwing into the endzone, Brady didn't get much resistence as he threw two wide open passes to Rob Gronkowski and a well run slant route to Julian Edelman at the goalline. Ryan Mallet likely could have won this game today with the way it went.

RB Stevan Ridley, Rush: 13 - 28 - 1

Ridley's first carry went for just four yards as he burst through a hole in the line of scrimmage, but ran into his own blocker on the second level. Ridley's second carry went for four yards again when the Colts were slow to react to the Patriots' hurry up. Ridley came back with another two carries on the next drive, but the Colts crowded him at the line of scrimmage for two negative plays. Ridley wasn't getting much success at all running the football, his first carry of the third quarter resulted in a hard hit at the line of scrimmage for no gain. Ridley finally escaped for a gain of 11 yards after the Patriots completed a few passes underneath to slow down the defense. Ridley struggled all day, as the Colts' defensive front repeatedly stuffed him at the line of scrimmage, but he did get an easy touchdown from three yards out after Julian Edelman's long run in the fourth quarter..

RB Shane Vereen, Rush: 11 - 40 - 1, Rec: 1 - 11 - 0 (3 targets)

Vereen was thee second back in the game as he caught a quick screen pass from Brady, before turning upfield. However, the seven yard gain was negated by a holding penalty. The Patriots gave the ball straight back to Vereen as he slipped through the defense up the middle for an eight yard gain. Brady and Vereen couldn't connect over the middle when Brady tried to lead him away from a tackler by throwing the ball slightly behind him. Vereen showed off excellent speed with his next carry, as the Patriots offensive line created a good hole for him to run through for 13 yards. Vereen wasn't used much until the Patriots were running the clock in the fourth quarter. Vereen showed good speed and agility, but his late touchdown was as easy as could be.

WR Wes Welker, Rec: 7 - 80 - 0 (11 targets)

Welker's first target came deep down the field against single coverage with a linebacker in good position. Brady overthrew Welker so he never had an opportunity to make a play on the ball. Welker caught his first pass on third and two when he ran a crossing pattern to find space in the middle of the field. Welker then found space against man coverage on second and 12 to go for eight yards. The linebacker had no chance covering him in space. Welker dropped a potential third down conversion on his next target when he was in much less space against the linebacker who hit him immediately. Welker caught an easy 18 yards on a slant route against off coverage. Welker couldn't catch a short out route with space ahead, as the ball was slightly out of his reach. Brady went straight back to Welker as he caught a quick pass in the flat before turning upfield for 11 yards and a first down. Welker caught a quick pass in the flat close to the goalline. He ran forward, but was met by two defenders and was lucky that his fumble bounced out of bounds. As Brady hung in the pocket, Welker kept working the coverage deep and caught a comeback route on the sidelines for a 15 yard gain. The Colts couldn't defend the middle of the field all day long and Welker duly added another reception for a first down late in the game against single coverage over the middle.

WR Julian Edelman, Rush: 1 - 47 - 0, Rec: 5 - 58 - 1 (7 targets)

On third and six, Edelman had his first reception for 18 yards running across the field. He used his quickness to come free against man coverage. Edelman dropped an easy pass in the flat as he tried to adjust going infield on his next target. Edelman made up for it on the very next play however. He caught a screen pass wide open in the flat, but a Colts' defender had read it and arrived with the football. Edelman spun away from the attempted tackle before sprinting downfield for the first down. A quick pass into the flat put Edelman in a one-on-one situation with a cornerback, before he sidestepped the defender and gained five yards. Another quick screen in the flat resulted in a first down as Edelman ran forward for 15 yards. At the goalline, Edelman caught a slant pass against single coverage for a touchdown. Having scored a receiving and return touchdown already, the Patriots gave the ball to Edelman on an end around and went for over 40 yards with it. However, he was stopped just short of the endzone.

WR Brandon Lloyd, Rec: 4 - 45 - 0 (7 targets)

Lloyd's first target came on the second drive, when Brady missed him deep, before he caught a quick slant pattern for eight yards. Lloyd's second reception came on a deep out route against Josh Gordy. He ran out of bounds after 10 yards. Lloyd caught a deep in route in front of Antoine Bethea after catching the deep out against Josh Gordy. Lloyd beat Josh Gordy deep to begin the third quarter, but Brady missed him with an overthrow. Gordy was struggling in his matchup with Lloyd, who caught an 11 yard slant route from close to the Patriots endzone against him.

TE Rob Gronkowski, Rec: 7 - 137 - 2 (7 targets)

Brady didn't wait long to look for Gronkowski, as he ran a deep seam route against a linebacker. Gronkowski caught the ball before absorbing a hit from an incoming safety for a big gain. Gronkowski caught a pass for 16 yards down the left sideline over a safety. It was a backshoulder throw that is basically impossible to defend. Like many teams, the Colts had no answer for Gronkowski as he easily ran away from a linebacker for a short, simple touchdown. After a Julian Edelman punt return for a touchdown, Brady went straight back to Gronkowski in single coverage underneath. He beat Jerrell Freeman for a first down. Another out route was from Gronkowski couldn't have been an easier 31 yard gain if it was in seven-on-seven. After an Andrew Luck turnover in the third quarter, Gronkowski ran a seam route and caught a pass wide open for the touchdown. Left in single coverage over the middle again, Gronkowski this time ran away from Antoine Bethea for an important third down conversion. The news for Gronkowski owners took a terrible turn on an extra point in the late fourth quarter, when he broke his forearm. The injury will sideline him for at least four weeks, and possibly until the playoffs begin.